A sliver of information makes a big difference

It is the strangest of feelings to be left wondering about someone when you have information overload from our British media yet still have no answer in the detail.

A week ago I wrote about my experience of living in Nepal, and in particular, Kathmandu.  It was ignited by my concern at the devastation caused by the earthquake.  At that time I had no news of people I knew and worked with and regarded as friends.  It is a strange feeling to be left bereft of an important detail that makes the difference, primarily in what I think and then how that impacts on what I feel.  

It is with relief I can write that 30 minutes ago I received an email from Kathmandu and rather than explain in my words, here is the core of the message:

"Thank you very much. We are safe and slowly getting back to normal here in Kathmandu. But there are so many out of Kathmandu who are not so fortunate. Many people have lost loved ones and their homes. We too are doing our best to help in whatever way we can. All the people are giving their best. But since the scale of destruction is massive, help is still not reaching many villages. Many agencies from many countries are helping and we are grateful for that. It is going to take a long time before people get to their routine lives.
Thank you for remembering us at this time."

Three lessons to learn here are:

1. Thinking and worrying, whilst a real experience, can get disproportionate in many situations, so if we want to worry less or feel differently, then we must change what we tell ourselves. That it gets harder when the situation is more extreme, like an earthquake, is scale-able, but the lesson is the same.

2. "All the people are giving their best".  That is a sign of where recovery holds its best chance.  People are helping each other as in times of crisis we know happens in this country.  The thing is, the people I met in Kathmandu always did this so this is no surprise that they are resilient.

3. We can send tonnes of aid and millions of pounds but Nepal, which is the 8th poorest country in the world, will recover best and rise from the ashes when this aid is directed towards self help and enfranchisement. 

The seeds of resilience are in place.  I remain concerned and dismayed at the daily news and pictures of this life changing event far away, but I am a positive optimist, so the email tells me what I need to know, and it is enough to enable me to change what I tell myself - that the signs of hope for recovery are in place and we can all learn the best lesson in resilient thinking in the most difficult of times.